Alone Like a Rolling Stone


A weather like in April, one day sunshine on the other it rains cats and dogs. The temperatures are still pleasant, even on rainy days it is up to 17°C here. Last Tuesday we had a super warm day with lots of sun. In our cockpit we measured up to 31°C, which tempted us to finish our project "The paint is off". 

Unfortunately, in the end we were surprised by a rain shower, which doesn't make the finish look very professional now. We hope since it is the underwater ship and Katinka lies in the water again it is someday not noticeable. Now we deserve a break. The last month and the one before were very work intensive and exhausting. 

The Coppercoat may be a good antifouling, although opinions differ a lot, but the effort to change from a classic antifouling to a Coppercoat is enormous. Scratching off the old antifouling, then sanding and priming and finally applying the coppercoat has now taken 25 working days. It took me 4 days to sand and paint the classic antifouling. Assuming that you renew it every two years, you will get 20 working days in 10 years. 20 working days spread over 10 years. In addition, the wet-on-wet technique of applying the Coppercoat brings a two-man (woman) crew to the edge of their possibilities, especially if you are untrained in these things. The material is not easy to work with. The copper settles on the ground and has to be stirred constantly. At the same time, at an outside temperature of 20°C, you have a maximum of 45 minutes to apply the mixed paint. So you are constantly stirring, painting, stirring and then you have to apply at least four layers, in our case it was six.

It makes you sweat a lot. In order to avoid what happened to us with the rest of the work and the two rudders, you actually need laboratory conditions. That means a dry, if possible in winter, heated hall. For someone who would like to do something like this himself, this is almost impossible, at least here in Italy, as the few places in the hall that are available are used by the marinas themselves. Why a heated hall many will ask themselves now, just recently he wrote that it had 31°C in the cockpit and that in December. The problem with Coppercoat is the long drying time of 5 days. Even here in Italy the temperature falls below the dew point at night and condensation forms. This water runs down the side of the ship and washes the copper out of the epoxy. With a huge effort we fought against this condensation, which gave us additional stress days respectively nights. We have now the Coppercoat, where we wanted to have it, more or less on it, what is still missing is the installation of the rudders and the grinding as respectively the activation of the Coppercoat, so that it becomes at all effective. The rudders didn't necessarily have to be removed, it would have been a bit of a tricky process to paint them, but we are glad that we did it. After the paint was down and I inspected the two rudders, I noticed that the weld seam was cracked. This had to be repaired urgently. In the marina where we are at the moment, they are very helpful and you always have the right men at hand to help you.

To activate the Coppercoat, I assume at least two working days again, on which I will grind the paint with 500th paper. In addition, one working day for the installation of the rudders makes a total of 28 working days. All in all, I can recommend a change to Coppercoat from my point of view, apart from the effectiveness of the product, of which I am still convinced, only in the context of an extensive refit measure with optimal environmental conditions, or with a new acquisition. Otherwise the effort exceeds the additional benefit that still has to be proven. Also with the crane costs argued again and again gladly here in my opinion the calculation does not add up. If I assume a service life of 10 years, I need five crane dates for classic antifouling. At Coppercoat it is recommended to grind the underwater hull every 3 years to reactivate the copper. Compared to conventional antifouling I save two crane dates, which do not even compensate the additional material costs, let alone the extra work behind this system. In this blog I only pass on our experience with the product Coppercoat, surely there are the most different opinions, which are discussed controversially in the different media and on the Internet. I have tried to describe neutrally the handling of this product, may everyone form his own opinion about it.

We're almost finished now. Next week the rudders will be installed and it will be Christmas soon. Because of all the work we didn't have the time for our Sunday trips, which we urgently want to reintroduce. Yes and last but not least we should work on a video again. If this time the blog was more about the work on our boat and nothing else exciting happened, we still hope that you will continue to be interested in us and follow our journey. By the way, the location button on our homepage is now linked to the page "noforeignland" where you can see our current position. On this page you can also follow our travel route by clicking on the journey button. Have fun browsing.
Next week we plan to visit Rome again. Until then always Fair Winds and keep your ears stiff.